May 2021

Serial child sex offender jailed after found with 14,000 indecent images

A serial child sex offender from Romford has been jailed for two and a half years after he downloaded more than 14,000 pictures and videos of children on the dark web.

Investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested Mark James Dale, 45, at his home in Market Place, Romford, in July last year after linking Dale’s online activity to a known paedophile forum.

Dale, who has previous convictions for child sexual abuse offences, frequented chat rooms and searched for abuse material on the dark web, which he accessed using TOR (The Onion Router) software.

A laptop and tablet seized were found to contain 14,222 indecent images and videos of children – ranging from category A, the most serious, to C.

Dale was convicted in 2011 and 2019 for similar offences, and was bound to strict rules under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO). These included registering any digital devices with the Metropolitan Police.

Yesterday at Snaresbrook Crown Court, he was sentenced to 30 months after he pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children and breaching his SHPO at an earlier hearing.

April 2021

Convicted paedophile who downloaded 14,000 indecent images from the dark web faces jail

A convicted paedophile caught downloading more than 14,000 indecent images from the dark web broke down in court on Friday, telling the judge “I’m not a danger to children”.

Mark Dale, 45, was arrested in July last year after a National Crime Agency probe linked computers at his home to a known paedophile forum.

Officers discovered 14,081 indecent images and videos of children, which had been downloaded to a laptop and tablet by Dale.

He used software to disguise his identity while touring online chatrooms in his hunt for illegal material, downloading 276 images and 46 videos of the most serious abuse level.

Dale was due to be sentenced at Snaresbrook crown court yesterday, but the hearing was thwarted when a technology failure meant he could not have a private discussion with his barrister.

He broke down in tears as Judge Sandy Canavan said she wanted more information on the help he will receive in prison, saying he may face a “sentence in terms of years”.

“I appreciate these are not things you want to hear Mr Dale”, she told him. “But you have to be aware you are in a very serious position.”

Speaking over a videolink from prison, Dale told the court of a “difficult couple of years” in which his father died.

“I was doing so well, but when everything happened to me I couldn’t cope,” he said.

“That’s the honest truth with what’s going on in my life.

“I’m not a danger to children at all.”

Dale, from Romford, has previous convictions for child sexual abuse offences from 2011 and 2019, and was the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order at the time of the latest offences.

He has pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children, and is due to be sentenced on May 6.

February 2021

Romford paedophile convicted after downloading over 14,000 indecent images

A serial paedophile from Romford has been convicted after downloading more than 14,000 indecent images and videos of children being sexually abused.

Mark James Dale, 45, of Market Place, pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children at Barkingside Magistrates Court today. 

Dale was arrested after his laptop was linked to a known paedophile forum last July. 

The 45-year-old frequented pro-paedophile chat rooms such as ‘tweenfanisland’ and searched for abuse material online using TOR software. 

Investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) seized a laptop and tablet and found 14,222 indecent images and videos of children which ranged from category A, showing the rape and torture of young children

When he was arrested, he told officers to take over his account, declaring “you know I’ve been on the dark web, close it down”. 

Dale was previously convicted in 2011 and 2019 for similar offences and was bound to strict rules under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. These included registering any digital devices with the Metropolitan Police Service. 

He will be sentenced for all charges on Monday, 15 February at Snaresbrook Crown Court.